The Animals of Maus

I apologize for being “unoriginal,” but what I found most interesting this week were the discussions on the symbolic portrayal of characters as various animals.

I think that by portraying the racial and cultural divides more clearly, Spiegelman was able to further show how absurd it is to discriminate based on those factors alone.  To me, it seemed almost natural for different species of animals to be biased against each other, but despite the fact that all characters were portrayed as anthropomorphic animals, it was stated more than once that everyone was human.

In various ways, it seemed that turning the humans into the animals they “became” was an attempt to make the horrors of the Holocaust make some degree of sense, and I found myself sometimes substituting the animals for the actual humans of the Holocaust in my mind when pondering about it.

It took a moment for me to fully register the fact that the tall, vest-wearing, cigarette-smoking mouse that Spiegelman portrayed himself as was the same person as the gaunt, depressed-looking, mustached man in Prisoner on the Hell Planet.

One thought on “The Animals of Maus”

  1. I like your final point; I hadn’t thought about the connection either between the two Arts and the differences as well. It makes me wonder if there aren’t more “Arts” than those two in Maus.

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